A Healthier, Happier You in 2014!

What is it about the beginning of the year that suddenly makes us want to be our greatest selves? More than 40% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions. Of them, only about 8% keep them. In fact, most people have broken theirs before the end of the first week. Remember January 2012′s promises to eat healthier, save more and be more adventurous, only to spend the majority of 2013 eating two pound burritos (extra sour cream, please), not sticking to your savings plan and spending your free time doing the same old thing? Yes, we’ve all been there time and time again.

This year, My Mental Health Day offers these tried and true tips to help you be in the top 8% and stick to your resolutions. We intend to keep our resolutions and invite you to join us. We’re going to provide you (and us) with quarterly challenges that revolve around keeping our minds, bodies and spirits healthy and happy.

Here’s the game plan for winter:

Mind
Choose three goals: Two short-term and one long-term. Remember, when setting goals they should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound). We’ve established the “T” in the short-term goals with our plan – to achieve by the end of 2014.

Next, identify two concrete steps toward accomplishing each goal. For example: “By October 1 (time-bound) I will be able to run a 10K (specific – does not say ‘I will get into better shape.’).” You have to determine for yourself if it is attainable. If you’ve never run before, maybe you should try a 5K first. You will also decide if it’s relevant, it’s your goal.
- Step One: Register for the Marine Corps Marathon 10K.
- Step Two: Create a training plan.

 

Body
Decide on your choice method of exercise for the winter. Then pick a backup exercise. (Meaning, if your plans change and you aren’t able to make it to your pilates class, you can still get in a core workout in the living room with a DVD.) Need ideas? Check out sites like Groupon or Living Social for deals on exercise classes in your area.

Choose three healthy foods/drinks (that adhere to any dietary restrictions you may have) to incorporate into your everyday diet. Then choose three not-so-healthy foods/drinks you want to go cold turkey on. Need ideas? Adding more water, dark leafy greens such as spinach, and fruits are simple starting points. We like this list from Fitness Magazine.

Spirit
Work on letting any hurt, disappointment or anger from 2013 stay in 2013. Write down all of the things you know you need to let go of as you enter the new year, and one thing you learned from each experience.

That goes for people as well. Think of relationships that leave you feeling more drained than uplifted. It is important to appreciate how well they served you once, and understand that it is okay your life paths are no longer intertwined. Life is too short to surround yourself with people who give you anything but love. If you find you’re having a difficult time in accomplishing this, seek a mental health professional to talk you through it.

 

Check in with us on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr to share your progress with us using the hashtag #MMHDhealthierhappier. 

Click here for a MMHD Winter Challenge printout.

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